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LIVINGSTON, RITA GWENDOLINE NEWTH nee BEAUCHAMP

nee BEAUCHAMP

 

Rita Gwendoline Newth Beauchamp was born on the 22 December 1903 at Stratford, the daughter of Edgar Percy and May Beauchamp nee Newth  Rita was a cousin to Katherine Mansfield (Kathleen Beauchamp).

 

Rita attended Hawera Main Primary School and later became head girl of Hawera Technical High School in 1921. She began her teaching career as a pupil teacher at Hawera Main School in 1923, then went to Okaiawa School in 1924, leaving at the end of 1938 for Manaia School. While at Okaiawa she taught Standard 2,3 and 4, and had a great influence on the school. Her good nature and infective good humour made it a pleasure to be in her class.  The favourite pastime of the children was to hide her strap and then watch the confusion when it was wanted in a hurry to punish some unfortunate pupil.

 

Rita was at Manaia School from 1939 until 1961. Swimming coaching was one of her favourite outdoor activities, and one year every child from standard two to six, except two with doctor's certificates, were taught to swim at least one length of the main pool correctly. 

It is recalled by many of her pupils that she must of taught everybody at Manaia, ball-room dancing.

 

In 1961, she retired from, but this was short-lived as one day she was asked to relieve for two days at Hawera Intermediate.  She stayed 13 years and two terms, finally retiring in 1974.

 

Her record of teaching three generations of some families would be hard to surpass.

 

In 1943 Rita married Guy Livingston, after a courtship of some 17 years. Guy was a grandson of James Livingston, an early settler of Hawera. Rita lived at a hotel in Manaia during the week, while Guy lived with his mother and sister on their Rainie Road farm. Weekends were spent in Rita's old family home in Disraeli Street, Hawera.  The couple later built a home at  293 South Road, Hawera after Guy retired from farming.

 

Rita was a dedicated teacher with very high standards in all areas, but with a great understanding and love of her pupils.  Her discipline was also observed and respected by her fellow teachers. She gave great support to extra curricular activities including sport, hobbies and Boys and Girls Agricultural Club.

 

Rita and Guy shared a great love of horses and were great supporters of the Hawera Pony Club and were life members.  Other interests were the Hawera Aero Club (it is understood that Rita flew Tiger Moths) and love of good entertainment and sociability.  They attended many local balls, and often travelled to Wellington to attend visiting shows.

 

Rita loved her garden and grew great vegetable crops and flowers including water lilies.  She had an excellent horticultural knowledge.  Her home was her "castle" and was kept in a most immaculate manner.  She was a perfectionist and demanded the best from others.  Rita loved reading and had an immense and diverse knowledge.  She died on the 27 June 1987 at Hawera.

 

SOURCES

Kaye Cleaver (friend).

Various school jubilee books